Philips Launches ACT Program to Develop First Guide for Coordinated Care and Telehealth Deployment

Members | May 15, 2013

In May 2013, Royal Philips Electronics and its consortium partners announced the launch of the Advancing Care Coordination and Telehealth Deployment (ACT) program. The Philips-led ACT program is the first to explore the organizational and structural processes needed to successfully implement care coordination and telehealth services on a large scale.

Originally published by Phillips
News Center
, April 29, 2013

In May 2013, Royal Philips Electronics and its consortium partners announced the launch of the Advancing Care
Coordination and Telehealth Deployment (ACT) program. 

The Philips-led ACT
program is the first to explore the organizational and structural processes
needed to successfully implement care coordination and telehealth services on a
large scale.

This European Union-funded program includes healthcare
authorities, clinical experts, universities and industry partners. 

By
monitoring telehealth initiatives in 5 European regions, the program will create
a “cookbook” of best practices to facilitate deployment. This could potentially
transform care for millions of chronically ill people and save healthcare
systems billions of Euros each year.

Chronic illness is growing to
pandemic proportions. In the EU, some 10 million people suffer from heart
failure, 20 million have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and 60
million live with diabetes. Each year, these 3 conditions cost EU healthcare
systems around EUR 125 billion. 

With telehealth services, chronically
ill people can be treated effectively in their own homes through remote
management systems and integrated networks of caregivers. The ultimate goal of
these services is to improve health and help patients help themselves by giving
them more independence, freedom and control over their health and lifestyle.

Clinical studies have shown these services can help reduce hospital
admissions, days in hospital and mortality rates.  So far, however, telehealth
has been mainly limited to pilot programs due to the difficulty of translating
such research into practice. 

“The ACT program is a key step towards the
widespread use of care coordination and telehealth services. It takes research
in this field to the next stage of implementation. The program examines how best
to deploy and integrate telehealth to improve outcomes for patients and
healthcare systems, and ensure they are cost effective,” said Professor Stanton
Newman of Health Psychology, School of Health Sciences, City University London,
U.K. and principal investigator on the Whole System Demonstrator, the largest
telehealth trial conducted to date.

To do that, the ACT program brings
together healthcare authorities, companies, universities and hospitals. Five
partner European regions (the Basque Country and Catalonia in Spain, Groningen
in the Netherlands, Lombardy in Italy and Scotland in the UK) deploy and operate
their own schemes for heart failure, COPD and diabetes patients.

The
systems will be monitored over a 24-month period to identify “best in class”
processes, structures and ways of working. 

Data and experiences will be
shared between regions, allowing promising candidates to be further optimized.
The resulting optimized structures and behaviors will be published, allowing
other healthcare authorities to develop their own telehealth systems.

“Philips aims to transform healthcare through meaningful, patient-centric
innovation,” said Bas Verhoef, president market group EMEA, Philips Healthcare.
“People increasingly want healthcare on their own terms, in ways that let them
get on with their normal lives. Moving care from the hospital to the home makes
that possible while also helping healthcare systems cope with the increased
pressures due to aging populations and the growth of chronic disease.” 

“It is an essential evolution, but making it happen requires cooperation from
across the healthcare value chain,” continues Verhoef. “The ACT program shows
there is a strong willingness to cooperate across Europe, and Philips is proud
to lead such a strong consortium that is united in wanting to improve care and
quality of life for millions.”

Uniting leading European healthcare
experts from a number of domains, the ACT program is part of the European
Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP-AHA). The EIP-AHA is an
initiative from the European Commission under its Innovation Union strategy, and
aims to increase the average healthy lifespan by 2 years by 2020.